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BUILDING PROJECTS


INTU WATFORD HERTFORDSHIRE


Extending the retail experience


A major extension and refurbishment to a shopping centre in Watford helps give visitors an exciting and even uplifting experience, including a range of leisure offerings, in a design that carefully blends the project into its setting


These days, the UK’s best high street developments and shopping centres are adapting to provide destinations that continue to meet changing consumer demands. This also means they need to be designed carefully to enhance their context. Most new retail schemes, such as intu


T


Watford’s extended and improved offering in Watford town centre, incorporate leisure amenities such as cinemas and food outlets. Where this project succeeds is that it successfully integrates the scheme with the existing context, and uses its architecture to enliven the setting but also to provide a human scale and blend with the town around it.


Retail and mixed use specialist practice Leslie Jones Architecture, a practice well known to intu from several previous jobs, was brought in to bring more cohesion and legibility to this key town centre retail site. The development site comprised the 1970s Charter Place, an external shopping precinct that was dated both in its design and its relevance in the current market. Shopping centre group intu, which owned the successful centre next door that had opened in the 1990s, felt it was best placed to transform Charter Place into something which would delight customers and add to its existing offer.


The new scheme would see the majority of Charter Place demolished, and replaced with a purpose-built 400,000 ft2


leisure extension to the existing intu Watford centre.


The scheme presented a number of challenges including the requirement to


ADF NOVEMBER 2019 WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK retail and


he physical retail sector is addressing a number of challenges, including the convenience of online shopping.


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